Stiff Steering

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by catfishcentral, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    The steering on my old boat is getting kinda hard to turn lately especially on a twisty river. I was told that you could take it to a boat shop and they had a machine that pushed lube into the steering cable to loosen it up. I went to my local boat dealership and ask them about this and they just looked at me strange. They said there was no such thing and they just replace the steering cable when it gets this way. What is the real scoop can this be lubed somehow or does it just need to be replaced?
     
  2. dg775577

    dg775577 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    State:
    Indiana
    BassPro sells this outfit, have not used it so I can't say from experience if it works. Looks like it would but it's a little pricey.
    http://www.basspro.com/servlet/cata...arClassCode=2&hvarSubCode=7&hvarTarget=browse
    A cheaper method I have used on cables in the past is to remove the cable and lay it on the floor. Take one end and put it up in the small end of a funnel. Duct tape around the outside to make a seal then put it in a vise or clamp it to something to hold it up. If a cable is frozen you can start off with WD-40 or Liquid Wrench ( or diesel fuel for that matter ) in the funnel and work it back and forth. After it is moving you put what ever lube you want to use in the funnel and repeat. It is a little messy but an inexpensive way to free up and lube a cable.
     

  3. cschottfish

    cschottfish New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    Ofallon, Mo.
    Look under the dash and see if there is a clear tube by the stering wheel. That should be for stering fluid, or if its a old boat there might be a grease seart. hope this helps.
     
  4. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Messages:
    658
    State:
    Willow Woo
    A lot of the time its not the cable, its in the sleeve where the steering rod goes through at the motor. To properly lube it you have to pull the rod out of the sleeve then clean and grease it. Most motors have a grease fitting on that sleeve but its only for greasing the pivot point where the motor hinges up and down.
     
  5. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
  6. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I put this kit on my last boat that was getting immpossible to steer and it worked great. It does take two people to lube it though. One to squeeze the bottle and one to turn the steering wheel back and forth.
     
  7. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    State:
    Supply NC
    It very seldom is the problem of the cable for fresh water boats.

    It's in the tilt tube housing for the cable, at the motor.

    Be very careful of the grease fittings designed to keep them lubed. Never grease them with the steering extended. Too much grease can get between the main shaft and the sleeve that slides, creating a hydraulic lock, minimizing your steering.

    To clean out the tube at your engine, a 12 gauge bore brush with one section of cleaning rod, in a drill motor works well. That and some spray penatrant. The motor might need to be removed from the boat to get it done right.

    To let this condition continue will cause wear at the streeing helm.
     
  8. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    Thanks for all the responses!! It's been getting kinda hard to steer for awhiile but this past weekend, I took it out for the first time in a month and it was getting real stiff. I've got a old 12 guage brush around and will try what you suggest Bobpaul.

    Thanks.
     
  9. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Chris, I forgot to mention that the reason I had problems with mine was that I was using the wrong lubricant. Get one from your dealer, or I'm sure Bobpaul can tell you which to get. It is a silicone-based marine grease, I'm pretty sure. Don't have the tube handy right now, but I have one grease gun dedicated to it for the motor only, another with synthetic grease for trailer bearings, and a third with general purpose for the tractors, etc. LOL
    I use that cable buddy, but I keep blowing the seal out of the nut. I think it is almost as good without it, as long as you do the proper maintenance on the steering tube.. Don't forget to lube the steering and tilt tube fittings on the motor, too, and while you're at it, check the oil in the gearcase, pull prop and lube shaft, inspect seals, etc. (if you don't do this already). :smile2:
     
  10. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    State:
    SW Ohio
    The directions on the packaging mention nothing about this but it's absolutely true.

    I started by squeezing the bottle with the steering all the way in (not very much goes in at all). Then have someone turn the steering all the way (out) while you're squeezing the bottle and you might get half the bottle in. Then have them turn the wheel back the other way and most of the fluid will go back into the bottle. I repeated this 4 or 5 times and finally put the set screw back in when the cable is all the in. When I got finished, there wasn't very much of the bottle gone. But that was 5 years ago and the thing still steers like a new helm does.